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NRC or Exelon

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Hi guys,

This is my first post on NW, so id like to start by thanking everybody for being proactive with providing useful information. I have learned a lot and successfully gotten through interviews thanks to your help.

My situation currently is that im a mechanical engineering senior (minor in nuclear) in my last semester from NYC and im scrambling looking for a job for when i get out of school. I got an offer from the NRC for their 'NRAN' program. This is a new initiative by the organization to provide recent graduates with leadership development opportunities by exposure to different positions across the agency. Successful completion of the program results in a mid-level position within the agency. One position that would be in reach after the 2 year program is an in house inspector at a power plant.

I also recently interviewed with Exelon at NMP in Oswego for a NO position. I passed both the BMST and POSS exams and i think i did fairly well on the interview. The position seems like there is a ton of potential for growth and seems like the nature of the work fits well with my interests (Im not sure if i can work a desk job).

So here are my questions about the two jobs:

* Which job do you guys think will maximize my long term potential for growth?
* What kind of opportunities would i have in the power industry after some time at the NRC?
* What is the Security clearance process for working as a NO? i'm currently in the process of obtaining Secret for the NRC and would hate to have to start the process all over for the operator job.
* If i start as an operator in Oswego, i understand that it would take about 10+ years until i can realistically think about changing locations. Anybody here from northern NY that can shed a little light on country living? Im not from the area nor do i know anybody who is.
* Basically what is my best bet? Are there any other places i should be looking for employment?Thanks for reading/contributing. I appreciate any insight i can get.

If you go the operator route, you're probably not going to want to change locations unless you're leaving OPS. The reason is, you'll need to go through license class again where ever you end up, as your license is specific to the station.

For the clearance, operators get a DOE-L clearance, which is the equivalent of Secret, it's just a question of who's doing it. I'm pretty sure you'd have to start over, but I could be wrong. The good news is, if you have to start over, you can reuse everything from your other application and the process shouldn't take too long.

Since you're not from that area, you may want to go with the NRC, as it's easier to move around and get to a location you like. Otherwise, look for an OPS position near where you want to live, if that's what you want.

An NLO position will give you education and training to operate the power plant. You will have to work rotating shift for a few years. Not only will you learn the details of the plant, but you will learn how the workers think and act. With a degree, you will probably be fast tracked to licensing class. An RO or SRO license is a very valuable asset with a huge monetary bonus. It will open doors to other positions such as training, licensing, NRC, INPO, fuel handling, Eplan, and upper management positions. Several SROs have gone on to corporate management positions. Exelon is a huge company with several locations. If they happen to downsize in Oswego, there may be opportunities in PA or IL.
I really can't tell you what the NRC possibilities are, but I know former NRC employees that have sucessfully transitioned to power plant jobs and brought helpful insights.

Operators DO NOT get a DOE Clearance . They do not get any type of security clearance. They simply get unescorted access.

Odds are if you get an NRC job you wont leave it. Pretty certain being a resident after 2 years is having smoke blown up your .. 

Saying that its good work and there is a LOT to be said for 40 hours a week.

So far as being tied to a utility. Nah, I licensed at 2 utilities. The second paid me more to go through license training than I was making at the first utility. The only hard part was licensing again in my 40s.

If you have a chance to go to the NRC take it.
Keep in mind an inspector position lasts only about 7 years then you have to move elsewhere.

Maybe I misread this regarding clearances.


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